The Faith and Science Conference returns June 23-25, 2014, to Springfield, Missouri.The conference, initially launched in 2011, was the first of its kind in the history of the Assemblies of God. Organizers say their goal is to provide pastors, leaders and laypeople with tools to address
issues of science in the context of faith.
"Congregations are a lot more scientifically literate than they used to be," says James Bradford [former member of the AGTS Board of Directors], general secretary of the Assemblies of
God, and one of the organizers of the conference. "There are a great
number of issues where faith and science intersect - ethical and medical issues, genetic engineering, beginning and end of life issues, etc. We want to help equip pastors to be able to speak to those things and not just to avoid issues of science."
Bradford, who holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota, says churches need not see science as a detriment to faith. "The church has tended to demonize science;
presented it as a threat to faith. Meanwhile, culture is deifying
science. We want to show pastors how faith and science can be
Conference chairman Mike Tenneson [AGTS grad, '91), Ph.D., agrees. A biology
professor at Evangel University, he believes pastors should
integrate faith and science in the pulpit for the sake of younger
"The Barna Group have some telling responses to survey items that
indicate young people find church structure as being antagonistic
toward science," says Tenneson. "We can reduce the exodus by young people out of the church by showing that you can be a thinking
person, and make decisions about what you believe based on evidence,
and still be led by the spirit and experience miracles."
Having attended the inaugural 2011 conference, Kentucky AG District
Superintendent Joe Girdler plans to return for the 2014 conference. "Today's pulpits need informed and intelligent ministers of godly
passion on scientific matters...parishioners hunger for pastors and
spiritual leaders who can intelligently and scripturally divide the
Word of truth as it herein relates."
The 2014 conference keynote speaker is renowned Oxford Mathematician
John Lennox. An evangelical Christian, Lennox is a sought-after
scientific expert who is known for his ability to communicate
complex issues in a personable, easily understandable manner.
New to the conference's cast of stellar plenary speakers is Stephen
Meyer, Cambridge-trained director of the Center for Science and
Culture at Discovery Institute and a founder of the modern
intelligent design movement.
Dr. Stephen Krstulovich, award winning lead engineer at Fermilab (a
research facility focusing on particle physics - the study of the
nature of the universe, time, space and reality) and long-time
member of Maranatha Chapel AG near Chicago, will be returning to the
conference as a plenary speaker.
Additional speaker information and registration details are posted
--Marilyn Luce Robertson